The New York Yankees, leaders of the best record in the American league travel to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in a three-game weekend series.
New York is coming off a home series loss to the Mariners and holds many questions after a 5-5 record in their last ten games.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, are in the thick of a Central division title race with Milwaukee. The Brewers. after trading closer Josh Hader, have dropped four in a row, while St. Louis has responded with four straight wins.
What does this mean for both teams? The Yankees go into St. Louis reeling, while the Cardinals are playing some of their best baseball.
We have everything you need to know about this key series for the Bronx Bombers here.
Projected Starting Pitchers
Friday – Nestor Cortes (9-3, 2.53 ERA) vs. Dakota Hudson (6-6, 4.10 ERA)
Saturday – Domingo German (1-1, 6.39 ERA) vs. Jordan Montgomery (3-3, 3.69 ERA)
Sunday – Frankie Montas (4-9, 3.18 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (8-8, 3.11 ERA)
Players to Watch – Yankees
Joey Gallo may be gone, but since the trade that sent him to the Bronx, Andrew Benintendi’s numbers have been just as bad if not worse. The All-Star outfielder that was a hero for rival Boston years ago is just 1-20 in his first 29 plate appearances. Benintendi has gotten base at a much better click than Gallo, but his inability to get consistent hits is a big reason for New York’s recent slide.
The future 2022 AL MVP is on a historic pace. Judge got an off day yesterday and is expected back in the lineup today. With 43 home runs, Judge is on a record-setting pace and could be on his way to challenging Robert Maris’ 61 home run Yankee record. Depending on how you view the steroid era, Judge could very well lead baseball’s home run record by the end of the year.
The Yankees have major pitching issues coming into this series. The trade of Jordan Montgomery has severely depleted the depth in starting pitching the Yankees currently throw out. While Cortes and Montas are expected to pitch in this series, not having the edge in the second game will be a major question. Can German get past his first couple or rough starts? If not, the Yankees could have massive issues opening shortly.
Players to Watch – Cardinals
The league leader in average, OBP, OPS, and OPS+, Goldschmidt is on pace to win the first MVP award of his career. He’s been St. Louis’ best player overall and a big reason why the Cardinals are once again in the thick of the NL Central race. A good series for him could mean a good series for the Cardinals.
Montgomery wasn’t bad for the Yankees, but his trade for Harrison Bader will be analyzed all season as both teams look to get into the playoffs. Montgomery helps St. Louis with their current pitching woes and could very well turn the tide in this series. A good start for him, and the Cardinals could be in the driver’s seat for their division.
The game plan against St. Louis is simple: keep Arenado and Goldschmidt off the stat sheet and you will be in a position to win. Arenado is second on the team in WAR only behind Goldschmidt and is one of the more complete players in baseball today. The Cardinals had faith in their lineup at the deadline and made few changes there, however, if the Yankees can neutralize the top players in St. Louis, they should be in an excellent spot to win the series.
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